How To Know If She Is Toxic: 10 Red Flags To Look Out For

How to know if she is toxic

Did you know, there’s an acronym that’s used to help interpret whether someone is toxic or not? This is known as S.I.G.N and stands for; ‘shame, insult, guilt and never in the wrong.’ With the understanding of these four traits and others, you’ll be able to characterize and grasp how to know if she is toxic during the beginning stages of dating a woman.

Nobody’s perfect. We all have qualities that not everyone’s going to be attracted to. Which, in the dating world is what we can sometimes perceive as a negative, however, it’s necessary so we can find the right match. During the process of meeting someone, it’s crucial that you’re able to pick up on Red flags. It will protect you from subjecting yourself to destructive and manipulating behaviour.

In this article, we’ll delve into the ten most common signs that you should look out for that will help you to know if she’s toxic during the initial stages of meeting a lady. Not only this, we’ll go deeper into how certain Red flags may represent personality disorders that you should try and avoid.

10 Signs that she’s toxic

How to know if she is toxic
How to know if she is toxic

During the initial stages of meeting a woman, it’s imperative that you’re able pick up on certain Red flags. These signs can help you depict toxic traits that a lady might possess, which could ultimately be the cause for possible future conflict in a relationship. Once you’re aware of these shortcomings, it’ll be easier to determine whether a girl may be a potential romantic partner. 

It’s quite easy to ignore negative indications on the first few dates. We hope that things will go well, and there’ll be unavoidable chemistry without having to incur any drawbacks.

Although you may feel attraction towards this lady, it’s important that you educate yourself on the characteristics of a person that can end up being detrimental to your well-being.

The most common, and non-negotiable signs that may confirm she’s toxic are;

1. She’s never in the wrong

A woman who’s toxic will never be able to admit that she’s wrong. Instead, she will try and shift the blame, and make you feel guilty for something you didn’t do. This could also be a sign that she’s unable to confront her own emotions, which is why she will project them onto you.

Projection can occur when an individual feels the need to protect their ego. This can come from a low self-esteem as well as having a narcissistic personality.

A person with narcissistic tendencies will have the inability to take responsibility when something goes wrong. They will have the mindset of; ‘It’s never me, it’s always you‘. This will also stem from them thinking their more superior.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • She speaks negatively about her former partners
  • Argues with her friends
  • Complains about her work colleagues
  • Displays a victim mentality

2. She belittles you

Someone who belittles you will make you feel unimportant. When you speak to your date about what you’ve accomplished or gained, does she dismiss it entirely, and disregard your efforts?

This could be a form of emotional abuse, and should not be taken lightly. You might start to feel as though you can’t be yourself, and you’ll no longer express yourself confidently.

The National Library of Medicine conducted a study on emotional abuse in intimate relationships. Although the estimates were difficult to measure, the results averaged at a whopping 80%.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • She frequently corrects you
  • Comes across as condescending when she helps you

3. She questions you

Whether you’re in the early stages of dating, or you’ve already established an exclusive relationship with a woman, you should always be able to keep your autonomy. A telltale sign that she may be toxic is if se begins to constantly question you on your actions and whereabouts.

This is a Red flag that she could be needy, and that she won’t allow you to have a life outside of her. Added to this, Being insecure will play a big part in why the woman you’re seeing will constantly question you.

She could be transferring past trauma from a previous relationship onto you, or, she may be an individual with a codependency issue. Because of this, she will rely solely on you for emotional support, and feel worthless if you do not need her.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • Frequently asks you where you’re going or who you’re with
  • You feel suffocated
  • She only wants to make plans with you and not with her friends or family

4. She gives you ultimatums

An ultimatum is basically a threat that is used to intimidate someone into changing their behaviour. If she’s continuously giving you these while you’re dating this is a Red flag that she wants to control you, and the outcome of every situation.

This type of behaviour will outline that the woman you’re seeing may be self centered, and won’t take your feelings into consideration. Ultimatum’s are a poor communication style, and should be avoided in any interpersonal relationship.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • It’s her way or the highway
  • She makes you choose between her and your friends
  • You feel like you have to go with what she says

5. She’s always negative

Someone who is always negative will have an underlying fear of failure which is why they are unable to deal with issues.

When you surround yourself with a woman who’s consistently complaining about things, it will leave you feeling drained. She won’t be able to envision a happy ending with anything that you decide to do together.

A person with a negative demeanour can be very demanding. She may put a copious amount of pressure on you to not disappoint her.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • She always blames external factors
  • She’s constantly unhappy about things
  • She’s unable to join you in celebrations

6. She only speaks about herself

One of the sure signs that can let you know if she’s toxic is if she only ever speaks about herself. This will be a Red flag that she may be self-centered, and won’t ever consider how her actions will effect you.

Her affairs will be more important than your own. This personality trait is a further warning that the lady you’re spending time with may have narcissistic tendencies.

A narcissist will have a high level of self-importance, and come across as though they are extremely conceited.

(Did you know, approximately 6.8% of people will experience PTSD in their life, with females being more prone to the disorder than men).

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • Only speaks about herself on dates
  • Disregards anything you have to say
  • Always seeks constant admiration

7. She has a hard time controlling her emotions

A Red flag that should not be ignored, is if the woman you’re dating is unable to control her emotions. If you make her upset, she may become irrational. This type of behaviour can be hard to deal with, since she won’t be able to hear logic or reason.

Emotions changing from zero to a hundred is a further sign that a person may have ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a brain disorder that cause an adult to have an impulsive behaviour and issues concentrating.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • She becomes impatient very quickly
  • Her emotions become sporadic and impulsive
  • She expresses how she feels through anger and frustration

8. She brings up your previous mistakes

Does she always bring up a previous mistake you did as a way to make you feel guilty? Especially in a heated conversation, she may bring to light something that happened a while ago.

She won’t be able to hear criticism from you, but will almost always be the one to dish it out towards other people.

This is a way for her to withhold the superiority in the relationship. Someone who is unable to let go of the past, will never be able to move forward, and can be extremely destructive to the person their dating.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • She’ll always bring up something you did in an argument
  • She will avoid the current situation by resurfacing old issues

9. She has double standards

When she has double standards, she’ll have certain expectations from you, but they won’t apply to herself.

With this type of mindset, a relationship can become very one sided. As per PsychCentral, an emotionally abusive person will hold double standards. She will justify her actions but hold you accountable for yours.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • She’ll flirt with other men, tell you it’s nothing and then accuse you of being unfaithful when you do the same
  • Gives you grief when you’re not there for her but she always lets you down

It’s important to note that if she’s always disappointing you, this can be a testament to the level of respect she has for you.

10. She withholds intimacy as punishment

A sure sign that she may be toxic is if she withholds affection as a form of punishment. Have you ever said something that she did not like, after which she stopped being intimate with you?

This is otherwise known as ‘avoidant abuse’, and is a behaviour used to purposefully stir up negative emotions, or, to control you.

(Subtle early warning signs)

  • After an argument, she will distance herself from you
  • She won’t want to be affectionate until you’ve apologised

Being aware of these signs will help you to know whether the girl you’re seeing is toxic. If any of these Red flags resonate with you, it’s important that you do not disregard them as they could be the cause for emotional turmoil in your next relationship.

How do you tell if a girl is gaslighting you?

How to know if she is toxic
How to know if she is toxic

When she gaslights you, it will cause you to lose sense of reality. You’ll begin to question what actually happened. Your perception of how things are will become distorted, because she will make you believe her version, whether it was right or wrong. A person who gaslights you, will do it so they can keep control in the relationship, as well as their superiority. 

Gaslighting is exceptionally manipulative, and toxic for the person who is being succumbed to this type of behaviour.

You can tell she’s gaslighting you if any of the following scenarios have occurred;

  • She changes events to turn the blame onto you
  • Puts you down when you express your own concerns
  • She dictates scenarios happened a certain way when they didn’t
  • You know you didn’t do or say something but she insists you did

Once you’ve been subjected to her gaslighting you, you’ll start to feel insecure in your own abilities. You’ll start to question yourself with almost every decision you make. Along with this, you may feel;

  • Increase in anxiety or feeling nervous
  • You’ve lost your identity
  • A lingering emotion that something isn’t right
  • Always feeling as though you’re in the wrong

In the early stages of dating, you might start to notice that she seemingly always changes the version of events to suit herself.

If you have any bit of self-doubt that is brought on from a lady you’re dating, this could be an indication that she’s toxic.

TheHealthy have advised that more than 38 million men will be subjected to their romantic partner gaslighting them in their lifetime. Unfortunately, not many people are able to recognize this type of behaviour. In the U.S alone, 75% of adults have not heard the term ‘gaslight’ before, or don’t understand what it means.

Can Complex PTSD make you toxic?

How to know if she is toxic
How to know if she is toxic

A woman who suffers from complex PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) will have gone through multiple different traumatic events, which can cause her to find it difficult to manage her emotions. She may become angry very quickly, or over-react in a situation with bursts of emotion. 

C-PTSD is very similar to PTSD. The main difference between the two is that the complex version generally occurs during childhood, and can be more serious than only one experience.

Complex PTSD can cause an individual to adopt the avoidant attachment style in a relationship, which can have a negative effect on you, if you’re the one on the receiving end.

She may struggle to regulate her emotions, and end up taking it out on you as a coping mechanism. This disorder may also cause a person to lack trust in those closest to them. Because of this, she may constantly question you, or start to insinuate that you’re up to something when you’re not.

If she’s not actively working on herself, whether it’s mindfulness or psychotherapy, dating a woman with C-PTSD can become toxic, and could be a Red flag for you to potentially distance yourself.

Is it easy to notice Red flags in a relationship?

Confused guy
How to know if she is toxic

Especially in the early days of dating a woman, if you’re not paying attention, it’s quite easy to dismiss any signs of Red flags without giving it much thought. This is because, when you initially start to like someone, your brain will release dopamine. This is a neurotransmitter chemical that clouds our judgement. 

It will interfere with the medial prefontal cortex part of our brain, which is what we use when we interpret a persons actions, responses and emotions.

Besides this function, dopamine is also what will make us feel addicted to spending time with a person because it’s something new and thrilling in our lives. On the one side, dopamine causes us to ignore toxic signs, and on the other, compel us to spend time with the individual, which is why it’s pretty easy for us to not pick up on Red flags when we first start dating someone.

On one of our trusted forums, we created a poll to find out if guys find it easy to pick up on toxic signs during the early stages of dating.

Here’s the outcome;

  • 33% said yes, they’re able to notice Red flags
  • 67% said no

Safe to say, until couples transition out of the honeymoon phase of a relationship, it can be difficult to spot the Red flags in your significant other. Once you’re aware of how to know if she’s toxic, especially in the early stages of dating, you’ll be able to control the dopamine chemical from blinding your judgement, and make rational decisions based on what you’re seeing, rather than how you feel.


How do you know when it’s time to leave a toxic relationship?

You’ll know it’s time to leave a toxic relationship when you notice a change within yourself. If you no longer feel excited or happy to see your partner, this could be a sign that you’ve reached the end. Once you start to question your own self-worth, and begin to lack confidence, you’ll need to prioritise your own well-being, and get rid of any toxicity.

How do I know if I’m ignoring Red flags?

If you continuously feel as though something’s not right, then you may be ignoring Red flags. You might feel ill in your stomach, head or chest when your instincts are trying to warn you. Another telltale sign would be if you’re always justifying her actions. You know deep down they’re not right, but your brain might be clouded due to the chemical, dopamine which will prevent you from thinking logically.


How to know if she’s toxic can be pretty difficult, especially in the beginning stages of dating somebody. When we’re attracted to a woman, we can lose all logic and our rational way of thinking, which is why we tend to dismiss any Red flags that may appear.

We hope, with this article that you now know what toxic traits to look out for when you first start seeing someone. Although it may be difficult to end a potential romantic relationship with her, in the long-term, it will protect your emotional wellbeing, and give you the opportunity to meet that special someone who won’t display any Red flags.

(Quiz Question; Are men or women more prone to experience PTSD?). Make use of our comment section below to submit your answer.

How To Know If She Is Toxic: 10 Red Flags To Look Out For

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